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Here’s the Skinny on the New Copyright Infringement Law Included December’s COVID Relief Bill

As a teenager, programs like Limewire and Napster provided countless hours of entertainment and music – I belted out chart-topping hits into hairbrushes with friends and played angst-infused songs for when I was #InMyFeelings. I’d stockpile files into my download queue like precious cargo and experience unabashed anger and resentment whenever my eyes spotted another timeout error. 

Besides being responsible for (unknowingly) downloading a horde of viruses, I legit risked jail time and my parents getting slapped with a lawsuit – and for what? All because I NEEDED that hot new song. Sigh.

It’s now over 10 years later. The only thing that’s changed is the technology and platforms people are using to illegally download content. Not only does the movie industry sustain between $40 and $97.1 billion in revenue loss annually due to digital piracy, but the illegal downloading of copyrighted content accounts for nearly 24% of the global bandwidth.

Over the last few weeks here at MovieComm, we’ve received tons of questions from our users and followers regarding the new copyright provision hidden tucked inside December’s COVID-19 relief bill. The legislation includes a whopping 5,593 pages of language – the perfect read for anyone struggling to get some shuteye at night. 

Curious about what this new piracy and copyright law entails? Here’s everything you need to know. 

Illegally Streaming Pirated Content Is a Punishable Crime

The COVID-19 relief bill, passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, outlines a new law designed to severely punish anyone caught pirating large amounts of copyrighted content. According to the “Protecting Lawful Streaming Act,” introduced by North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, the law wasn’t drafted to target your everyday, casual internet user. 

Instead, its purpose is to focus on “commercial, for-profit streaming piracy services.” In other words, if your company uses copyrighted material for training and development purposes, or as a means for creating enticing business presentations, it may very well result in some not-so-pleasant consequences. 

In a written statement from Tillis, the senator advised, “This commonsense legislation was drafted with the input of creators, user groups, and technology companies and is narrowly targeted so that only criminal organizations are punished and that no individual streamer has to worry about the fear of prosecution.” So, for all you average Joe’s and Jill’s out there, you can breathe a little sigh of relief. 

For businesses, educators, e-learning systems, and LMS platforms, however, the legislation could prove to be extremely detrimental – with disruptive and far-reaching repercussions. Those prosecuted for the digital transmission of copyright-protected content will be fined and face up to 10 years in prison for multiple offenses. Ouch

On the Basis of Sex

Why Businesses and Education Systems Are Vulnerable

One word: YouTube

Type in a simple search and a myriad of valuable content will pop up. And what better way to bridge generational gaps, bolster engagement, captivate an audience, and teach new skills than by leveraging video to reinforce your message?

While the logic is sound, with numerous studies speaking to the impact of using visuals, as well as the increased profitability that stems from bolstering employee engagement, there are several dilemmas with corporate leaders, educators, and e-learning platforms utilizing YouTube content. 

Besides the obvious issue – facing copyright infringement and legal ramifications – what type of ROI are educators or leaders obtaining from the hours spent mindlessly scrolling through clips in search of the right one? Hint: it ventures into negative territory. Plus, who has the time to go on a long-winded hunting expedition?

It’s worth mentioning a few other pitfalls of relying on platforms like YouTube to find video content for lectures, emails, and presentations. For one: ads. Do you really want to subject your employees or students to a never-ending pharmaceutical commercial on high cholesterol? Hopefully, your answer is “No.” Another frustrating setback is the all-too-often poor quality of the video content you want to use. 

Here’s where you come to a crossroads. Jail = not fun. And, as a leader, you genuinely care about maximizing people’s potential and using innovative ways of communicating to influence and engage. You certainly don’t want to be labeled boring or fret about your livelihood resting in the hands of student feedback during year-end evaluations. Nor do you want to contribute to poor retention and productivity levels. 

So, what the heck are you gonna do?

Legally Approved, Motivational Movie Clips for Today’s Leaders

Leadership matters. Period. That’s why we created MovieComm. We are the first and only platform with legal access to thousands of ad-free, customizable Hollywood movie clips to help today’s leaders lead.

Whether you’re trying to spice up historically snooze-inducing communications in the office, the classroom, or on remote tools like Zoom, we want to help you not only capture people’s attention, but maintain it. Our AI-based platform is simple to use, yet wildly impactful. 

You can opt to do-it-yourself or leverage our team to help bring your messages to life. Create custom mashups, enhance your presentations, develop online training videos, and more.

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